Last month, Forbes released its 2019 30 Under 30 List for Europe, and the number of people on the list for their work in the training industry demonstrates the global recognition of the importance of professional development.

Emerging Technologies and Emerging Tech Professionals

“I have two bachelor’s degrees, none of which helped me in my professional career,” says Arijana Koskarova, who was named to the list with her brother, Bojan Koskarov, for their work founding Creative Hub in Macedonia. The company offers networking events and six- to nine-month training programs on a variety of topics, such as marketing and public relations, human resources and project management, web design, graphic design and advertising, and finance. Koskarova believes that university education is not aligned with market needs, saying that she created Creative Hub “to disrupt the educational system that is broken.”

Nizar M’Charek and Zayn Sheikh are co-founders of EFCO Formation, a French company that “works closely with government institutions to provide low-cost or free programs that take advantage of emerging VR-technologies [virtual reality] for premium training,” according to Forbes. M’Charek and Sheikh say their goal is “to make learning not only more efficient but also more engaging through the use of interactive digital platforms and virtual reality technology.” EFCO Formation offers classroom learning, the most popular courses in English language learning, and technical training, which enables logistics and warehousing companies to provide up to 60 percent of their training using VR.

JavaScript developers are the largest group of programmers in Romania, according to Diana Gabriela Miron, CEO of JSLeague. Her company trains JavaScript developers, “inspiring them to be leaders within their teams and unit[ing] them into developing solutions for real problems,” she says. Through workshops, hackathons, meetups and high school teaching programs, JSLeague aims to “help people discover new ways to develop solutions” for the increasingly complex challenges the world faces.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion

At Training Industry, we’ve written about the potential power of coding education programs to help diversify the tech industry. Anisah Osman Britton is the CEO of 23 Code Street, a coding school for “women and non-binary individuals,” according to Forbes. Her company also uses the money it makes from paying students in the U.K. to provide free training to women in Mumbai.

Similarly, Simi Awokoya founded Witty Careers “to educate and equip the under-represented in tech,” according to Forbes. From workshops to mentoring and recruitment opportunities, Witty Careers has partnered with companies such as Uber, EY and Microsoft to help minority female technologists grow their skills and advance their careers.

Kike Oniwinde studied abroad at the University of Florida, where, she says, “I met a number of extremely talented black students and professionals who I previously didn’t know existed. When I came back to the U.K. and was working in the fintech [financial technology] industry, I noticed the lack of diversity, even in the start-up world.” Oniwinde used this insight to found BYP Network, an app for young black professionals in the U.K. to network and connect with each other. The company has raised over $250,000, and its platform boasts over 30,000 members, according to Forbes.

“Our focus is on changing the black narrative,” Oniwinde adds. “There’s never been a more vital time to empower and champion our community, and with a platform and app that brings us all together, allows us to network with each other, future and current senior leaders, and major corporations, we think this type of education is essential.”

As business continues to change at a rapid pace, organizations need to provide continuous learning to their employees – both to ensure that they are able to succeed at their jobs and to engage them. Millennials, especially, are looking for these learning opportunities. Forbes’ new list demonstrates that millennials are, indeed, leading the way in lifelong learning in Europe – and it’s true around the globe.